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Man Faces Felony Child Abuse Charges in Beating

1-Year-Old Faces Lifelong Problems

A Rio Rancho man who allegedly beat his girlfriend’s 1-year-old son earlier this month, causing life-threatening injuries, is now facing a felony child abuse charge.

Zachary Kriesel, 28, was indicted last Thursday by a Sandoval County grand jury and charged with child abuse resulting in great bodily harm.

The boy was found with numerous bruises on his body, swelling inside his head with internal bleeding and internal abdominal injuries when he was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital by his mother, according to a Rio Rancho police report. A bite mark was also found on the boy. The Children, Youth and Families Department and Rio Rancho police were notified.

The boy’s mother took him UNM Hospital on Aug. 3, and later told police that Kriesel sent her a text message while she was at work saying that her 4-year-old daughter hit the boy’s head and abdomen with a toy, the police report reads. He also said that the girl had been jumping on the boy and hitting him.

Kriesel told police that he found the boy lying on his back crying and saw his sister hit him with the toy. He said he has seen the girl hit the boy in the past.

The boy’s grandmother told police that she has never seen the girl abuse her brother. She said the girl told her that Kriesel became angry with the boy after he broke a glass. Kriesel shook the boy, screamed at him and threw him into a wall, the girl told her grandmother. Kriesel then told the girl that is was “their secret,” according to the police report.


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The girl later told a CYFD case worker that she had seen Kriesel throw the boy to the floor and punch him in the stomach.

The boy underwent surgery to repair his small intestine that had numerous tears and trauma, which were not caused by accident or from a pre-existing medical condition, according to the police report. A doctor told police that the boy’s injuries were unlikely to have been caused by his sister.

Another doctor told police that the boy’s injuries are “life-threatening” and will require ongoing “critical care.” He is also at risk of having learning difficulties, seizures, behavioral problems and visual and hearing problems due to the head trauma he sustained, according to the police report.

An arrest warrant was issued for Kriesel on Aug. 9 charging him with abandonment or abuse of a child. He was arrested the next day and booked into the Sandoval County Detention Center.

Kriesel is being held at the detention center on a $75,000 cash only bond, jail records show.